Atoms always smiling

Atom hockey players loved playing in home tournament at Memorial Arena

Sukhman Herr (left) and Nickolai Panov share the netminding duties in the Penticton net as West Kelowna forwards Alex Dawson and Paul Gage battle for the puck during the Penticton atom house league tournament action at the Memorial Arena.

Sukhman Herr (left) and Nickolai Panov share the netminding duties in the Penticton net as West Kelowna forwards Alex Dawson and Paul Gage battle for the puck during the Penticton atom house league tournament action at the Memorial Arena.

When it came to wins, the Penticton OHS atom Ice Hawks were ahead of the local pack.

When it came to having fun, it was a level playing field.

Scott Panov, coach of the Penticton Mavericks, watched as his team lost to West Kelowna 9-8 with five seconds remaining.

“They shook it off quick,” said Panov of the loss as they went winless in four games of the Penticton Minor Hockey Association’s  14-team recreation tournament over the weekend. “They had smiles on their faces.”

The Penticton Bruisers, like the Mavericks, were winless in four games, but coach Jared Holmes said they had a couple of close games against the Chilliwack Snipers and Winfield Bruins.

“The kids had an absolute blast playing at home in front of friends and family,” he said. “It was good and the kids were in good spirits. They got medals at the end.”

The Ice Hawks finished fifth with a 3-1 record, picking up wins against the Lumby Stars, West Kelowna Kings and Abbotsford Renegades. Their lone loss, 4-3, came against the Coquitlam Chiefs, who lost in a shootout to the Kelowna Serpents in the final.

“The boys played extremely hard and have shown a ton of improvement especially in their passing game,” said Ice Hawks coach Dean Garnett. “They have been working really hard in practice. Plus they are an extremely great bunch of kids and a pleasure to coach.”